Tech

Google Pixelbook 12in – The best Chromebook yet?

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google pixel book 12in
google pixel book 12in review

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Sleek design
  • Array of Android App
  • Tremendous keyboard
  • Smooth stylus with Google Assistant
  • Bright display
  • Great performance
  • Wide viewing angles
  • High-end Specs
Cons
  • Highly Priced
  • Low-quality camera
  • Average battery life
  • Mediocre audio
  • Stylus sold separately
  • Innate Chrome OS limitations

Specifications

  • 7th-gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processor
  • 8GB or 16GB of RAM
  • 128GB SSD, 256GB SSD, or 512GB NVMe
  • 12.3-inch LCD touchscreen
  • 2,400×1,600-pixel resolution
  • Two USB-C ports with fast-charging
  • Headphone jack
  • 720p front-facing camera
  • Four microphones
  • Two speakers
  • Bluetooth 4.2

When it comes to the design language, I don’t think Chromebooks have looked this nice, like ever. From a metallic finish to rubberized hand rests, the Pixelbook is what you’d expect a luxury item to look like. With great design, comes great software. Pixelbook supports Android apps from the get-go for a truly 360-degree experience. This daily-use machine is made for those who want a sleek laptop that can be used as a tablet as well, and has the power to support any and all tasks thrown at it. Overall, we’d say the Pixelbook 12in justifies its hefty price tag.

Google Will Assist You

One thing that makes Google Pixelbook 12in truly unique is how it approaches Google Assistant. It almost feels like the device was designed with the intention of pushing Google Assistant, and it mostly succeeds at that.
A dedicated button on the lower left corner will launch the Google Assistant. You can type what you want to search, and it’ll find it for you. There’s also the ability to call for Google Assistant by simply saying “Hello Google”, which may be the preferred method for many – because it feels quite natural after years of Android smartphone usage.

The Google Pixelbook 12in Pen

Google Pixelbook 12in has a unique stylus because of its in-built functionality. The Google Pixelbook Pen has a dedicated button for Google Assistant, more on this in a bit.
About the Pixelbook Pen’s build quality, we didn’t find any flaws. In fact, I’d say it is one of the most premium feeling stylus I’ve used. The Pixelbook Pen is comfortable in hand, and I enjoyed gliding it over the touchscreen. I had no issues writing or drawing with it.
As it has AAAA batteries, you don’t need to charge it. And the battery is supposed to last around one year – which many claim it does.
In terms of specs, it has:
 
  •  10ms latency
  •  60° angular awareness
  •  2,000+ pressure sensitivity levels
 
Now coming to the Google Assistant button. If you press it once and circle an image, Google Assistant will search it for you. A neat function that still requires some tweaking to be perfect. Because the results were sometimes inconsistent.
 
Like images, you can also search for phrases and words. In our experience, however, this functionality requires a lot of refinement to be practical.
If you’re interested in Google Pixelbook 12in, just know that you don’t have a specific slot for your pen. You need a separate pen holder, which will add to the cost. Samsung’s Chromebook Pro, on the other hand, has a built-in stylus, which I appreciate now even more.

google pixelbook 12in

Chrome OS That Works Offline

Google Pixelbook 12in may have the best Chrome OS experience yet. One simple reason for that is its offline functionality.
Still, the Chrome OS on the Pixelbook lacks when compared to Windows or Mac OS, especially in the offline department. It makes up for that lacking by adding Google Play Store to the mix. With it, you can easily download and enjoy millions upon millions of android apps.
With this ease, comes a security threat to the previously secure Chrome OS. Android apps are known to cause security issues, so having those on your Pixelbook is inherently bad. Or at least it would be, if it weren’t for the completely separate working space for Android apps. Still, we’d suggest caution when downloading apps from the Google Store.
If you run a resource-heavy android game on the Pixelbook, we’re sure it will be a smooth ride. The Pixelbook has the power and the graphics to support it.
Pixelbook is surprisingly thin, around 10mm, for such a powerful device. We’d love to point out flaws in the design, but we’ll have to look very hard. The laptop is less than two and a half pounds, having a stylish glass back. Despite the powerful processor, the Pixelbook is fanless. And that shows in its design.
It’s not just aesthetics that Pixelbook knocks out of the park. The Pixelbook 12in has a convertible design that works very well in both configurations – the laptop and tablet.
Despite its slim and fragile appearance, the Pixelbook 12in has a rugged body that can withstand drops of a few feet.
The keyboard on the Pixelbook is backlit with a comfortable click of 0.8mm key travel. The large touchpad has silicone pads on both sides to rest your hands on. Coming back to the keyboard, we have a number of special keys on it that make the Chrome OS experience just a little bit more accessible. For example, on top right corner, we have a button that launches the system menu. This menu has everything from volume controls to Wi-Fi network
management.

Great Performance

We’ve covered the design part extensively; what about performance of the Google Pixelbook 12in?
We can say for sure that this is the most powerful Chromebook out there. From its processing power to the way it distributes and handles tasks. Well, Google Pixelbook 12in is in the same league as any high-end laptop when it comes to performance. You can perform any daily task without worrying about lag.
We tested at varying performance requirements and found that it did heat up a little, which is expected from a fanless design. But the performance didn’t lag at all.
The entry-level Google Pixelbook 12in has 128GB of storage. This bigger storage, than any other Chromebook, allows for more flexibility and better offline performance.
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Amazing Display

Pixelbook goes well and beyond our expectations in the display category like Asus 2-in-1 Q535. Gone are the days of 1080p displays, Google Pixelbook shatters those displays with its 2400 x 1600 pixels. You can clearly see every single detail in a 4K video and get the best viewing experience from a bunch of angles. The 235 PPI resolution ensures every single word, every single dot is clear and visible for a truly great viewing experience.
Color correction on this screen is also great. Maybe it was the pressure to build a two-in-one display or just an abundance of resources, but the Google Pixelbook is the best at displays, with no Chromebook even in the same league.
The screen is also very bright, hitting 421 nits in our testing. This bright display perfectly complements the colorful display with wide viewing angles.

Comfortable Touch

The touchscreen deserves its own section because of how amazing the experience was. The colorful screen was responsive to my touch and performed as expected from a tablet. But is it better than the competition?
I’ll refrain from giving a verdict on that, but I can say this for sure: You’ll have to look hard for a hybrid screen that has the same level of responsiveness and brightness.
I watched a lot of videos on this display, but I didn’t have a great experience, mainly due to the speakers that didn’t perform as expected. The volume was a bit low, but the clarity was there.

Battery Life

Google Pixelbook 12in has a battery life of 10 hours on a single charge. At least that’s what’s being advertised. In our testing, though, the Pixelbook lasted around 7 hours with moderate usage.
When it comes to charging the device, it supports fast charging. A 15 minute-charge can extend the battery by more than one hour, which is lower than the advertised two hours.

Disappointing Webcam

I was fairly disappointed at the webcam of this otherwise amazing machine. The Pixelbook has a 0.9 Megapixel webcam, which is way below the competition. Keep in mind that the Google Pixelbook 12in is also a tablet, so having a below-average camera doesn’t make sense from a consumer point of view.

A Chromebook That’s More

Google Pixelbook 12in is the Chromebook to look out for. A stylish design, great performance, and an improved Chrome OS experience.
But all of this comes at a price – significantly more than other Chromebooks.
For casual users, who do internet surfing and use their machines to watch movies and shows – the Google Pixelbook 12in is a great choice. Extended support for Android apps makes it even more appealing for the average user.
But the price; this is to be put into consideration before recommending the Pixelbook. It is a great device for daily usage, but the price says otherwise. You can have more powerful machines for the same price, so there’s that.
Still, if you’re in the market for a truly unique experience that delivers on its promise, Google Pixelbook 12in is for you.
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Kevin The Alien
Called an alien by his friends, Kevin has a rare passion for technology. If he’s not geeking out on laptops, smartphones, headphones, and other latest tech, he’s probably out there playing Pokémon GO. Kevin has a professional degree in IT and has spent the last 4 years at a reputable tech firm, growing his tech knowledge and understanding. Now he has become a part of the TechLogee team and is sharing his knowledge with the world through the power of words.

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